As expected Noda has chosen the pragmatic option and gone with probably the lightest possible treatment of the non-defectors who didn’t vote yes on the consumption tax bill.
Aside from the immediate expulsion of the 37 defectors from Monday, Hatoyama has been given (日) a six month suspension. 18 “no” votes were conveniently given a 2 month suspension, and 15 more were given various kinds of reprimand. This means the latter 33 will be able to vote in the September DPJ leadership election.
It also seems that Ozawa right-hand man Yamaoka Kenji was being far too presumptuous in submitting the notice of resignation of some lower house members from the party – 3 have now claimed they had not actually decided to do so and after all wanted to stay in the DPJ. One has also told the press (日) that he will remain an independent and for now and will not join the Ozawa party. There may be others who are considering this option. So at this point we have 36 lower house defectors likely to join “New Party Ozawa,” with 9 members from Kizuna almost guaranteed to join plus 3 more from Suzuki Muneo’s Shinto Daichi. The total now sits at 48 maximum lower house members for Ozawa’s party, which will give Noda and the DPJ a little more room should some stragglers join the Ozawa Shinto.